Restoring the Legacy . . .
‘So, Sharon, what’s in it for you?’
We were sat beneath a huge mural of Jimi Hendrix in The Grey Horse whiskey bar and music venue, situated on the edges of leafy Richmond Park on a Sunday evening, with the chill of Spring still in air…
Coming from the Alexandrian Witch Queen’s only daughter, it seemed a justifiable query that had clearly been percolating for some time. After all, why should someone completely unrelated to the family be investing considerable time, effort, and finance into reconstructing her parents’ history some three decades after the death of her father, the King of the Witches.
‘Because I’m selfish’, I instantly blurted, ‘I want to know the true history.’
So there it was, with no hesitation in answering a basic question that no-one, not even my fiercest critics, had ever bothered to ask; a question that had been evidently building steam generated by a concoction of curiosity, scepticism and familial protection, now released with a thunder-clap. The spontaneity of the exchange punctuated the air for a split-second; and, rebounding on my unexpected answer, she threw her head back, let out a laugh and raised her glass to me with the toast, ‘To truth!’ All was well.
‘This is your and your brother’s legacy, you know’, I continued, ‘not mine’.
Whether it was because our similarly aged children are at a point in both the English and American secondary school curricula of exploring one’s family history, I don’t know; however, it’s now a cool thing in some adolescent social spheres to have real witches in ‘da fam’. Hence, parents or grandparents being witches is not necessarily accompanied with stigma — and if one’s grandparents happen to be the King of the Witches and Witch Queen in the late 60’s and 70’s — it’s now a kudos.
The Witch Queen’s daughter and mum of her descendants, now sandwiched between differing generational ideals, greeted with dismay the news that attempts were afoot to write her mother out of her, and by extension, her daughter’s own history.
‘But, but, but. I was there. As were so many, now prominent, members of The Craft, Alexandrian or other tradition. Perhaps, like Queen Elizabeth, ‘she needs to be seen to be believed!’ But, seriously, why would they do that?’ she asked, wholly perplexed.
A variety of reasons, I answered but basically, as it was explained to me by a credible source, ‘there are those who have established their own version of history’ and evidence of the true happenings would embarrass them. In other words, there are those who have boasted, exaggerated and created their own mythos which has in turn been handed down through their lines and online.
It doesn’t stop there though, I explained. Other instances abound - whether it is my unwittingly coming too close to exposing the truth about an initiation that likely never took place, the revelation of which could destabilise a substantial following; the revered occult authors who sugar-coat, trivialise, or downplay her parents’ impact on revival Witchcraft history or their role in the emergence of neo-pagan Witchcraft; or the admins of an online encyclopedia who intentionally distort the bio of a living person without ever contacting her or questioning the veracity of the content upon which they are relying.
In short, I went on, it’s far less about these people exposing her mother’s faults, character assassinating her father, or extinguishing her parents’ influence from history, than it is about what the hard evidence will show, that causes their concern.
Her response, paraphrasing the great whiskey-fuelled Jack Nicholson, was:
‘Maybe they can’t handle the truth. I’m a business woman, not a witch. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain my history to people who follow the Way, who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very teachings my parents provided, and then question the truth and manner in which they provided it.
But I’m glad you do, Sharon and I thank you.’
Alas, and perhaps, as her mother oft says ‘the magic will have its way’, the magic decided it was now time for the Truth to out.